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The Indo-Gangetic aquifer is one of the world’s most important transboundary water resources, and the most heavily exploited aquifer in the world. To better understand the aquifer system, typologies have been characterized for the aquifer, which integrate existing datasets across the Indo-Gangetic catchment basin at a transboundary scale for the first time, and provide an alternative conceptualization of this aquifer system. Traditionally considered and mapped as a single homogenous aquifer of comparable aquifer properties and groundwater resource at a transboundary scale, the typologies illuminate significant spatial differences in recharge, permeability, storage, and groundwater chemistry across the aquifer system at this transboundary scale. These changes are shown to be systematic, concurrent with large-scale changes in sedimentology of the Pleistocene and Holocene alluvial aquifer, climate, and recent irrigation practices. Seven typologies of the aquifer are presented, each having a distinct set of challenges and opportunities for groundwater development and a different resilience to abstraction and climate change. The seven typologies are: (1) the piedmont margin, (2) the Upper Indus and Upper-Mid Ganges, (3) the Lower Ganges and Mid Brahmaputra, (4) the fluvially influenced deltaic area of the Bengal Basin, (5) the Middle Indus and Upper Ganges, (6) the Lower Indus, and (7) the marine-influenced deltaic areas. © 2017 The Author(s)

Basharat M.,International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute IWASRI | Ali S.U.,International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute IWASRI | Azhar A.H.,WAPDA Engineering Academy
Water Policy | Year: 2014

The Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) is more than a century old. Water allowances and canal water distributions responded to increasing crop water requirements in a southward direction, e.g. higher water allowance in Sindh as compared to Punjab. But within a province, the canal water supplies do not address the issue of difference in irrigation demand. The consequence is unprecedented groundwater depletion in Bari Doab and waterlogging in certain other canal commands. After the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, gradually reduced flows and ultimate desiccation of eastern rivers have also contributed towards falling groundwater levels of adjoining aquifers. In this study, water allocations in the Water Apportionment Accord of 1991, annual average canal water diversions, and irrigation demand were compared for canal commands in Punjab. Rainfall was taken as an ultimate source of water that has a beneficial impact in integration with canal and groundwater. It is concluded that the efficiency of existing irrigation systems can be improved by adopting the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM). Thus, to avoid waterlogging and groundwater depletion, reallocation of canal water supplies amongst the irrigation units in Punjab, in proportion to the relative irrigation water demand and cropping intensities, is recommended. © IWA Publishing 2014.

Azhar A.H.,University of Engineering and Technology Lahore | Alam M.M.,International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute IWASRI | Latif M.,University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences | Year: 2011

Four subsurface tile drainage projects namely; Mardan SCARP Project (MSP), Fourth Drainage Project, Faisalabad (FDP), Chashma Command Area Development Project (CCADP) and Mirpurkhas Tile Drainage Project (MKDP) have been assessed in terms of their impacts on improvement of cropping intensity. The investigations revealed that total cropping intensities (CI) have been improved ranging from 19% (MKDP) to 67% (CCADP) as compared to the preproject conditions. At MSP, the target value of CI (180%) was not only achieved but also showed an extra upward trend up to 230%. Similarly, at CCADP an upward trend of 162% was observed against the target value of 150%. The four study sites in terms of percent improvement in total CI in the order from maximum to minimum were ranked as: CCADP (67%) > FDP (54%) >MSP (40%) >MKDP (19%), indicating how various project sites were benefited from the drainage activity in those areas. The main reasons for slow benefits at study sites were the limited financial resources available with farmers to reclaim/restore the fertility of waste lands, and shortage of irrigation supplies during the postconstruction period to leach down the excess salts. This aspect revealed that efforts put to alleviate the problems of waterlogging & salinity through implementation of tile (pipe) drainage systems had not been up to the expectations mainly due to other associated problems. However, the overall quantitative comparison did indicate the positive impact of tile drainage systems in terms of improving the CI at all study sites.

Basharat M.,International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute IWASRI | Tariq A.-U.-R.,University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Water Policy | Year: 2014

Design and management of the Indus Basin Irrigation System are aimed at achieving equity in canal water supply. This concept, which is more than a century old, ignores the due aspect of groundwater management in today's perspective. Recent research has proved that variation in irrigation demand and rainfall within the irrigation units has given birth to varying stresses on groundwater. In response to spatial climate variability, reallocation of canal supplies from the head towards the tail of the Lower Bari Doab Canal (LBDC) command was evaluated in this study, with the objective of achieving equitable total irrigation costs. The ensuing groundwater regime was simulated for 50 years' time with a groundwater model. A 25% reallocation from head towards tail-end improves the standard deviation of total irrigation cost equity from 1905 to 241. This command scale integration of available water resources also demonstrated a net saving in groundwater pumping cost to the tune of 7.24 to 18.9%, in comparison with existing equitable canal supplies. With this approach, at least minimal or no waterlogging in the headend area, even during wet years, and no groundwater mining in the tail-end, even during dry periods, are anticipated. In addition, this system-scale integrated water management would increase adaptive capacity to climate change adaptation. © IWA Publishing 2014.

Azhar A.H.,University of Engineering and Technology Lahore | Bhutta M.N.,International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute IWASRI | Latif M.,University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences | Year: 2010

Fourth Drainage Project (FDP) has been evaluated in terms of improvement in land and groundwater conditions. The investigations revealed that drainage project was capable of controlling watertable between the pipelines at a depth of 100 to 150 cm below the ground level. There was also an improvement in shallow water quality (from hazardous to usable) due to installation of drainage system. The pre-project percentage of area under useable class was 23% which increased to 35% during post-project period. Where as, the area under hazardous class decreased from 48% to 34% during the post-project period. Surface and profile salinity levels were also improved. Salt affected area representing surface salinity level, decreased from 42% to 22% during post-project period. Non-Saline Non-Sodic (NS-NS) area representing profile salinity level, increased from 50% to 64% during the post-project period. The cropping intensity increased from 102% to 157% due to project implementation. Hence, subsurface drainage project is performing well in FDP area of Punjab province. However, the benefits of project can further be enhanced by improving O&M facilities, capacity building of staff as well as credit facilities to the farmers.

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